久色

发布日期:2021年04月21日
to dangle a carrot in front of someone
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vandad

Senior Member
Persian
Many common idiomatic expressions have actually been created using the name of fruits, .....I want to know wether there's an equivalent for this expression in Italian:"to dangle a carrot in front of someone" which means "to tempt someone with an unobtainable offer".In Persian we say "to put watermelon in someone's hand".
 
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  • federicoft

    Senior Member
    Italian
    'Agitare la carota' is used in Italian as well with such a meaning.

    And there is another very common expression with a slightly different meaning, 'usare il bastone e la carota', to use the carrot and the stick.
     

    Polpo_D

    Senior Member
    English ϟ USA
    'Agitare la carota' is used in Italian as well with such a meaning.

    And there is another very common expression with a slightly different meaning, 'usare il bastone e la carota', to use the carrot and the stick.
    Looking into this, it seems to me we have a case of idioms seeming similar but in fact having slightly different meanings.

    according to Dizionari.corriere.it/

    Usare il bastone e la carota
    usare il bastone e la carota

    Fig.: ricorrere alternativamente alle buone e alle cattive maniere per ottenere un dato fine, come si usa fare con gli asini che un po' vengono allettati con le carote e un po' vengono presi a bastonate quando le carote non bastano a vincere la loro cocciutaggine.
    This seems more similar to the English expression: To play good cop, bad cop.

    "to dangle a carrot in front of someone"
    is more about enticing someone with an offer. I would also add, the offer is not necessarily unobtainable, though it is often used with that sense as well. I was told that 'Agitare la carota' is not common, and the significance is not obvious to a typical Italian. I found the phrase " agitare l'esca " in another thread. Is this phrase more idiomatic and clear?
     
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